The WBWG arose from an effort in 1994-96 to develop a range-wide conservation strategy for Townsend’s big-eared bat, Corynorhinus townsendii, as part of a proactive conservation approach to preclude formal listing of the species as threatened or endangered. Since that time, our members have been engaged in various conservation efforts including
- the development and revision of bat species accounts,
- the development of bat survey matrix, and
- the writing and implementation of an Action Plan for the Board of Officers.
The WBWG consists of a Board of Directors made up of representatives from each of 15 states, three Canadian provinces and two Canadian territories. An elected president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and two at-large representatives oversee the organization. WBWG members meet biennially and hold monthly conference calls to discuss various business items. Additionally, we meet annually in conjunction with the North American Symposium on Bat Research. Funding for bat conservation work accomplished by the WBWG is generated by state and federal land management agencies, non-governmental organizations, and individual members.
- facilitate communication among interested parties and reduce risks of species decline or extinction;
- provide a mechanism by which current information regarding bat ecology, distribution, and research techniques can be readily accessed; and
- develop a forum in which conservation strategies can be discussed, technical assistance provided, and education programs encouraged.
- increase efficiency of bat management and conservation by facilitating better communication among responsible and interested parties;
- encourage continuity and standardization in survey techniques, data collection and storage, monitoring, and State permit requirements;
- encourage management and research efficiency by recommending effective techniques and minimizing duplicate efforts;
- encourage land management practices that benefit bat populations, support practices that minimize unavoidable impacts, and recommend mitigation as needed;
- facilitate inventory, monitoring, and assessment of bat species and their habitats;
- facilitate formulation, implementation, and evaluation of conservation strategies for individual species or groups of species;
- encourage and/or assist in providing training concerning bat inventory, monitoring, and research techniques which emphasize bat welfare and human safety;
- encourage community based education programs that support bat conservation; and
- provide support, comments, and/or technical assistance as requested to facilitate goal implementation.